Public Health Applauds U.S. Surgeon General Advisory Declaring Gun Violence a Public Health Crisis

Public Health Applauds U.S. Surgeon General Advisory Declaring Gun Violence a Public Health Crisis

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health commends the U.S. Surgeon General for declaring firearm violence in America a public health crisis. Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and adolescents in the United States and 54% of American adults reported that they or a family member have experienced a firearm-related incident.

“Combined with the establishment last year of the first White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, the Surgeon General’s declaration is further evidence of the administration’s extraordinary commitment to eliminating gun violence in American society,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “As always, we know that the work to protect ourselves, our families, our friends, and our colleagues from firearm violence requires strong partnerships that focus on changes in policies and practices. We look forward to working with the administration to build safer communities in Los Angeles County and across the country.”

Many of the strategies highlighted in the Surgeon General Advisory are already being implemented in Los Angeles County to prevent deaths and injuries due to firearms. In April 2023, the Los Angeles County Department Public Health Office of Violence Prevention (OVP)  released its 40-point Gun Violence Prevention Platform, which offers four key priority areas including gun safety legislation, social connections and healing services, gun violence restraining orders awareness, and maintaining safe, violence-free schools.

Earlier this year, the Office of Violence Prevention launched an unprecedented effort to promote gun safety in Los Angeles County, distributing 60,000 gun safety locks – free, no questions asked. The Office of Violence Prevention is also initiating an awareness campaign to increase the utilization of Gun Violence Restraining Orders, which can be used if a loved one, dating partner, co-worker, or family member with access to a gun poses a significant risk of harm to themselves or others.


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